A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood

Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”, published in 1990, has been standard graduation reading for years.

As a teacher, I have spent many last days of school turning the wackily drawn pages in front of an entranced group of children gathered on the carpet for one final story time. With its matter-of-fact tone, humor, and overall encouraging message, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” remains a solid commencement day gift.

In recent years many other wonderful picture books have been published that graduates of all ages can appreciate, whether they are leaving elementary school behind or beginning their first job search.

For those who want search beyond Seuss, here are seven options:


“How to Be” by Lisa Brown

“How to Be”

by Lisa Brown

A sister and brother immersed in a world of imaginary play act like monkeys, bears, turtles, snakes, spiders, and dogs. In the process of pretending to be different animals, they discover something else: how to be themselves.

With rhythmic text that is brief and humorous and charming watercolor, nib pen, and India ink illustrations set against plenty of white space, Lisa Brown has honed in on a concept that can be appreciated by all ages.

“I Wish You More” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld

“I Wish You More”

by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld

This book is constructed of a series of well-wishes that focus both on good fortune and strong inner qualities. Each two-page spread begins with the phrase “I wish you more,” like, “I wish you more give than take,” and “I wish you more treasures than pockets.”

The text is lighthearted and heartfelt. It has the cadence and sentiment of a blessing yet is humorous and playful with language. Tom Lichtenheld’s cheerful and expressive illustrations featuring a diverse bunch of children are rendered with a mix of ink, watercolor, pan pastel, and colored pencil.

“The North Star” by Peter H. Reynolds

“The North Star”

by Peter H. Reynolds

As soon as he learns to crawl, a little boy begins his journey. Along the way, he meets different creatures and makes many choices. Some parts of the journey are difficult, and he is pressured to stay on the path, go quickly, and not wander. He follows the advice of others until he becomes lost and unhappy. A wise bird reminds him that he needs to decide where his journey will take him.

The little boy’s physical journey, depicted in evocative ink and watercolor illustrations, acts as a metaphor for the journey of life, and a celebration of dreams and possibilities. A note from Peter H. Reynolds at the front of the book wishes all of his readers a “stellar journey.”

Reynolds’ latest book, “Happy Dreamer”, is an equally apt read for new beginnings.

“What Do You with an Idea?” by Kobi Yamada, Illustrated by Mae Besom

“What Do You with an Idea?”

by Kobi Yamada, Illustrated by Mae Besom

When the boy is first visited by his idea, illustrated as a legged egg wearing a crown, he’s not sure what to do. He tries to hide and ignore the idea, worrying that others will think it’s strange. But as the idea grows, the little boy decides to nurture and protect it. What do you do with an idea? As the boy ultimately discovers, “You change the world.”

Kobi Yamada’s portrayal of an idea as a physical character is powerfully instructive. Mae Besom’s illustrations, progressing from pencil sketches to lively watercolor, encourage readers to have faith in their ideas.

The duo’s subsequent book, “What Do You Do with a Mistake?” is equally pertinent to anyone starting a new stage in life.


“The Wonderful Things You Will Be” by Emily Winfield Martin

“The Wonderful Things You Will Be”

by Emily Winfield Martin

“When I look at you and you look at me, I wonder what wonderful things you will be.” So begins this ode from parent to child. With a focus on the unique talents of individuals and values like kindness and courage, there is a message here for anyone just starting out.

The gentle rhymes and diverse families featured in the text invite children to imagine themselves right into the book. The illustrations—gouache on paper and acrylic on wood—are enchanting in their whimsy and detail.

“Yay, You: Moving Out, Moving Up, Moving On” by Sandra Boynton

“Yay, You: Moving Out, Moving Up, Moving On”

by Sandra Boynton

Those who prefer “Happy Hippo” to “Sam-I-Am” will love this book, one of Sandra Boynton’s most recent titles. A typical Boynton mix of familiar animals alongside vague furry critters ponder – with a tinge of worry – all the choices they have in life: where to live, what to eat for lunch, what kind of person to be, and more.

The book ends with a positive message, and that, along with the upbeat rhymes and humorous illustrations, make this an uplifting and celebratory read.


“The Yes” by Sarah Bee, Illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura

“The Yes”

by Sarah Bee, Illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura

A blobby orange creature called the Yes journeys from tree to valley to bridge to river and beyond, the entire way dogged by a thick cloud of No’s. The No’s warn, discourage, and naysay, because that’s what No’s do. But the Yes lumbers on until the No’s disappear and all that’s left is the Yes, powered on by its own courage and belief in itself.

Sarah Bee’s message, that getting anywhere in life starts with saying “yes” is clear without being heavy-handed, and packaged in delightfully playful language. Satoshi Kitamura’s blocky, powerful illustrations bring the concept of the Yes to life and have you rooting for it all the way.


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When model Mara Martin was one of 16 finalists selected to walk in the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swim Search show, she was thrilled to fulfill a lifelong dream. And when she woke up the day after the show to see that she and her baby daughter had made headlines around the world, she was thrilled all over again.

Martin breastfed her 5-month-old daughter Aria while walking in the runway, and the story spread quickly.

"It is truly so humbling and unreal to say the least," Martin wrote in an Instagram post Monday. "I'm so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL! But to be honest, the real reason I can't believe it is a headline is because it shouldn't be a headline!!! My story of being a mother and feeding her while walking is just that."

SI Swimsuit Editor MJ Day says the breastfeeding moment wasn't planned in advance, but it worked out wonderfully. Day was speaking with the models backstage when she noticed Aria was peacefully nursing away. Having breastfed her own two children, Day recognized this as a powerful moment in the making, according to SI Swimsuit.

"I asked Mara if she would want to walk and continue to nurse. She said 'Oh my gosh, yes! Really? Are you sure?', and I said absolutely! I loved the idea to be able to allow Mara to keep nursing and further highlight how incredible and beautiful women are," Day explained.

Martin hopes that her moment in the spotlight can help other mamas feel comfortable nursing when and where they feel like it, but she doesn't want to overshadow some of the other women who took part in the show.

"One woman is going to boot camp in two weeks to serve our country," she wrote. "One woman had a mastectomy (@allynrose), and another is a cancer survivor, 2x paralympic gold medalist, as well as a mother herself (@bren_hucks you rock) Those are the stories that our world should be discussing!!!!"

And thanks to Martin's powerful motherhood moment, now, people are.

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Dear Jeff Bezos and all who have anything to do with Amazon Prime Day,

I just want to start by saying—I know you are trying to be helpful. I love you all for that. I honestly do. But, you are kind of making me feel a lot of pressure today. Like, in a good way, but also, in an anxious way.

Let me explain…

On any given day, as a mother to three children, I have a certain level of anxiety. While it's not constant, I do have my anxious moments. Why? Because there are various versions of the following: Me asking my two older daughters to get their shoes on what feels like 500 times as I am changing my 9-month-old's very, very, very messy diaper while I am trying to figure out what I can throw on to wear in about five seconds while I am repeating brush your teeth, brush your teeth in my head so I, in fact, don't forget to brush my teeth.

Not even to mention the mental load that weighs on my mind every single day. Remember to flip the laundry, fill out the school forms, cancel that appointment, reschedule this appointment, order more diapers, figure out what we're having for dinner, squeeze in a shower, lock the basement door so the baby can't get down the stairs, find better eczema cream for my middle daughter, get more sunscreen...the list goes on and on and on.

But then you Amazon Prime Day me and I'm having a lot of feelings about that.

Because you're reminding me of things I need to order, to think about, to be on top of more.

The little potty that's on sale reminds me that I need to step up my potty training game for my 2-year-old. That super cute dollhouse reminds me that I need to think about my daughter's first birthday in two months (WHAT!). That face mask reminds me that I need to remember to wash my face before bed because I forget waaaay more than I remember which is terrible.

But then I realize, these deals are going to save my mental load by fixing my life. Right?

Like, I never knew I needed an Instant Pot until you told me it was only $58. Now I am scouring Pinterest for meals I want to prep in my own. THIS POT IS THE TICKET TO GETTING MY LIFE IN ORDER.

Do we need more plates and cups for the kids? I mean really they only probably need about two plates and two cups each but YES. Yes I do need more cute kids kitchenware. THESE PLATES ARE THE TICKET TO BEING A GOOD MOM.

What would I do if I had five Echo Dots? I don't know, but let's find out because they're only $29! THESE DOTS ARE THE TICKET TO EFFICIENCY.

If I order a Vitamix at 30% off, I know I'll lose the baby weight. Think of all the smoothies I'll mix up! I mean, I just lost a pound even thinking about the smoothies that thing can whip up. THIS VITAMIX IS THE TICKET TO A SEXY BOD.

Buying this trendy, floral dress will step up my mom style significantly. THIS DRESS IS THE TICKET TO KEEPING MY COOL.

Okay, then after I add all the fixers to my cart, I realize… I have 99 things, but necessity ain't one.

I mean, I have everything from waterproof band-aids to bras to dresses for myself and my kids to an alarm clock and books. I basically feel like Oprah—You get an Audible subscription! You get an Audible subscription!—but instead of these products magically being paid for by Queen O herself, the money is coming from my bank account, which is a lot less fun of a game, TBH.

And if I am being honest, I don't need much help with my order-things-from-Amazon-and-pretend-it's-being-paid-for-with-Monopoly-money game as I am quite often coming home to an Amazon package wondering what it could be, opening it with the enthusiasm of a kid on Christmas morning—even though I am the exact person who ordered whatever is inside of that Amazon box.

But today, on Amazon Prime Day, you tempt me with all the deals. And yes, my anxiety, blood pressure and adrenaline rise. And yes, my bank account might temporarily decrease—BUT if we are being fair, with the savings I'm getting on things I would buy anyway, I am basically making our account increase overall. Right?

And while these things aren't going to make me skinnier, or cooler, or more put together—I'm okay with that. I am doing a pretty good job on my own. But some of them will actually help my life in a few different ways at a reasonable price, and I am grateful for that—for real.

Now, Bezos, please end this 404 error nonsense and let me purchase all the things!

Thank you for all the savings and excitement,

Mamas everywhere

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Usually when celebrities post swimsuit photos on Instagram they don't exactly look like your average beach-going mom, but former Bachelorette (and mom of two) Ali Fedotowsky posted a series of bikini photos on Monday that are both beautiful and relatable.

"This might be my most vulnerable post on Instagram ever," she wrote in the caption for the photos which show a postpartum belly that looks like a real postpartum belly.

"At the end of the day, I know it's important to be open and honest about my postpartum body in hopes that it helps even one person out there who is struggling with their own body image," Fedotowsky (who just gave birth to her second child in May) wrote.

In the first photo of the series she's wearing a sarong around her stomach, but in the second and third photos Fedotowsky reveals the kind of stomach many mamas sport: It's not perfectly taut, she's not showing off any abs, but it is definity beautiful.

"If you swipe to see the second photo in this post, you see that my body has changed. My skin around my stomach is very loose and stretched out, I'm 15lbs heavier than I used to be, and my cup size has grown quite significantly," Fedotowsky writes.

The photos are a sponsored post for Lilly and Lime Swimwear (a line made for women with larger busts) but that doesn't mean it wasn't brave. In fact, the fact that it's an ad makes it even more amazing because research shows that when advertising only shows us bodies that don't look like our own, women become "generally more dissatisfied with their body and appearance".

Ali Fedotowsky

On her blog Fedotowsky notes that a lot of comments on her previous Instagram posts have been followers remarking how slim she looks, or how much they wish they looked like she does postpartum. By dropping that sarong and showing her tummy Fedotowsky is showing other mothers that there is nothing wrong with their own.

"While I appreciate the positive comments, you guys are always so good to me, I keep trying to explain that I'm just good at picking out clothes that flatter my body and hide my tummy," she wrote on her blog.

"I bounced back pretty quickly after I gave birth to Molly. But things are different this time and I'm OK with that. I'm learning to love my body and embrace how it's changed. I hope I get back to my pre-pregnancy shape one day, but that may never happen. And if it doesn't, that's OK."

Ali Fedotowsky

It is okay, because our bodies are more than our swimsuit selfies. They the vessels that carry us through life and carry our children and provide a safe, warm place for those children feel love.

Loose skin is a beautiful thing.

Thanks for keeping it real, Ali.

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  • Tia Mowry's honest post about her post-baby body is what every new mama needs to see 👏
  • Hilary Duff shares how pregnancy changed her body–and her confidence
  • J. Crew's new line with Universal Standard is size-inclusive—and we're here for it 🙌

Amazon shoppers were anxiously awaiting the countdown to Amazon Prime Day, but when the clock struck one, er three, the website went down.

On Monday afternoon shoppers were trying to get their hands on the much-hyped Prime Day deals but instead of low prices, many users just saw 404 errors, continuously refreshing pages, or had issues keeping or adding items to their shopping carts.

CNBC reports shares of Amazon were down during the shopping glitch, and many shoppers took to Twitter and Instagram to discuss how all they could see on Amazon were the dogs who decorate the site's 404 pages.

As cute as the dogs are, shoppers are getting tired of seeing them, so hopefully Amazon gets things back up and running soon. Analysts had projected Amazon would rake in $3 billion dollars this Prime Day. Time will tell how much of that was lost during the great dog picture debacle of 2018.

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